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Windows Mobile (or Windows Phone) and FastMail

I’ve been a big fan of Windows Phone (now Windows Mobile) for a while and have had a few phones across versions 7, 8, and now 10. A while ago I switched to FastMail as my e-mail provider [1], but had been stuck using Google as my calendar provider still (and my contacts were on my Windows Live account). I had a desire to move all these onto a single account, but Windows 10 Mobile only officially supports e-mail from arbitrary providers. Calendar and contacts are limited to a few special providers.

Below I’ve outlined how I’ve gotten all three services (email, contacts, and calendar) from my FastMail account onto my Windows Mobile device.

Email

Email is the easy one, FastMail even has a guide to setting up email on Windows Phone. This guide did not handle sending emails with a custom domain name, if you don’t have that situation, probably just use the FastMail guide.

  1. Add a new account, choose “other account”.
  2. Type in your email address (e.g. you@yourcustomdomain.com) and password.
  3. It will complain about being unable to find proper account settings. Click “try again”.
  4. It will complain again, but not give you an option for “advanced”, click it.
  5. Choose “Internel email account”.
  6. Enter any “Account name” and “Your name” that you want.
  7. Choose “IMAP4” as the “Account type”.
  8. Change the incoming mail server to mail.messagingengine.com.
  9. Change the username to your FastMail username (e.g. you@fastmail.com).
  10. Change the outgoing mailserver to mail.messagingengine.com.

Now when you send email it should show up properly as you@yourcustomdomain.com, but be sent via FastMail’s servers!

Contacts

FastMail added support for CardDAV last year and Windows Phone added support back in 2013, so why is this hard? Well…turns out that there isn’t a way to make a CardDAV account on Windows Mobile, it’s just used for certain account types. Luckily, there is a forum post about hooking up CardDAV via a hack. Steps are reproduced below:

  1. Add a new account, choose “iCloud”.
  2. Type in your FastMail username, but add +Default before the @ (e.g. you+Default@fastmail.com), note that this isn’t anything special, just the scheme FastMail uses for CardDAV usernames.
  3. Put in your password. [2]
  4. Click “sign in”, it will fail.
  5. Go back into the account settings (click “Manage”) and modify the advanced settings (“Change mailbox sync settings”). Choose manually for when to download new email. Disable syncing of email and calendar.
  6. Go to “Advanced account settings”. Change the “Incoming email server”, “Outgoing (SMTP) email server” and “Calendar server (CalDAV)” to localhost. [3]
  7. Change “Contacts server (CardDAV)” to carddav.messagingengine.com:443/dav/addressbooks/user/you@fastmail.com/Default, changing you@fastmail.com to your FastMail username.
  8. Click “Done”!

Your contacts should eventually appear in your address book! I couldn’t figure out a way to force my phone to sync contacts, but they appeared fairly quickly.

Calendar

FastMail added support for CalDAV back in the beginning of 2014 [4]. These steps are almost identical to the Contacts section above, but using information from the guide for setting up Calendar.app.

  1. Add a new account, choose “iCloud”.
  2. Type in your FastMail username (e.g. you@fastmail.com).
  3. Put in your password.
  4. Click “sign in”, it will fail.
  5. Go back into the account settings (click “Manage”) and modify the advanced settings (“Change mailbox sync settings”). Choose manually for when to download new email. Disable syncing of email and contacts.
  6. Go to “Advanced account settings”. Change the “Incoming email server”, “Outgoing (SMTP) email server” and “Contacts server (CardDAV)” to localhost.
  7. Change “Calendar server (CalDAV)” to caldav.messagingengine.com/dav/principals/user/you@fastmail.com/, changing you@fastmail.com to your FastMail username.
  8. Click “Done”!

My default calendar appeared very quickly, but additional calendars took a bit to sync onto my phone.

Good luck and let me know if there are any errors, easier ways, or other tricks to getting the most of FastMail on a Windows Mobile device!

[1]There are a variety of reasons why I switched, I had recently bought a domain name to get better control over my online presence (email, website, etc.). I was also tired of my email being used to server me advertisements and various other issues with free webmail. I highly recommend FastMail, they have awesome security and privacy policies. They also have amazing support, give back to (a lot) to open source and a whole slew of other things.
[2]I put a dummy one in and then changed it after I updated the servers in step 6. This was to not send my password to iCloud servers. The password is hopefully encrypted and hashed, but I don’t know for sure.
[3]We’re just ensuring that our credentials for these other services will not hit Apple servers for any reason.
[4]That article talks about beta.fastmail.fm, but this is now available on the production FastMail servers too!